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Travelers & People Living Abroad

Flu season varies by location.  Before you travel, research the current flu threat level at your destination. Be sure your flu vaccination is up-to-date.

  • Get the flu vaccine. It is your best protection against the flu.
  • The U.S. vaccine will protect against the major flu viruses found in other parts of the world.
  • While you are away, stay aware of the local flu status.
  • If you get the flu while abroad and need medical attention, contact a U.S. embassy for help finding a health care provider.

I have the flu, can I travel?

If you are sick with flu-like symptoms, you should not travel. Do not travel until you have been fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medicine for at least 24 hours.

How should I prepare for my trip?

Before leaving you should:

  • Research the current flu activity in your destination
  • Make sure you are up-to-date on your flu vaccine because flu seasons vary by location
  • If you need a flu vaccination, get it at least two weeks before you travel
  • Find out if your health insurance plan will cover medical care during your trip
  • Consider purchasing additional insurance if you are staying for an extended period
  • Consider purchasing travel insurance
  • Research in-country health care resources in case of a medical emergency

Six countries— Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam—have widespread and ongoing infections of H5N1 Avian Flu in their poultry. Visit the World Health Organization website for the latest situation.

The best way to prevent infection is to avoid any contact with sick or dead poultry. This includes avoiding visiting live poultry markets that may be infected with H5N1 when traveling. Also avoid sick people who might have H5N1 virus infection in affected countries.

Will the vaccine given in the U.S. protect me in other parts of the world?

Yes, the flu vaccine used in the U.S. usually protects against the major viruses found in other parts of the world.

How can I stay healthy while away?

To keep yourself healthy:

  • Follow our everyday steps
  • Pay attention to announcements from the local government
  • Monitor the local health and security situation
  • Follow any local movement restrictions and prevention recommendations

I am abroad and I think I have the flu. What should I do?

If you have any flu-like symptoms:

What should I do upon my return?

Closely monitor your health for seven days. If you have any flu-like symptoms during that time, follow our treatment recommendations. Seek medical attention if symptoms become severe or you are at high-risk for flu-related complications.

Related Links

Medical Information for Americans Abroad

Travelers Health

Travelers Health Map